Dining “al fresco” brings the imagination to small
tables in an open spaced front of a bistro.In Howard Beach the tables may be on top of or alongside a restaurant
facing a canal of private boats.Frenasia,
located at 163-35 Cross Bay Blvd., had built an abutting patio for your dining
pleasure, just one aspect of this Asian fusion eatery.
Enter into the lounge where the indoor bar sits
across the way from the Hibachi tables.Continue through to the back dining area as you pass the sushi bar
headed by K.C., who should have been a “Flower Child”.
My friend Nancy and I chose that back area,
particularly for the booths with cushiony seats and back support.Can you say, “Aging”?Sam is the owner who told us that the
restaurant has been around for 12 years.Sonny is the kitchen chef who has been working with Sam for 18 years.A check of the menu reveals much of the sushi
ilk.Aside from Japanese, I view items
of the Thai, and Korean.
Drink menu looks good, but I’ll pass on any of the
cocktails and go right to the cold sake.
Ozeki Dry Sake from California.Must be “in” as Gekeikan is also using the
same Sierra Mountain waters.Loved the
sake itself, odd having it being served in a glass containing shredded
Frenasia Dumpling Soup was the first of many
indulgences.Dumplings are a mixture of
pork and shrimp seasoned with ginger.A
mildly tasting broth contained fresh cilantro, scallions and bean sprouts.Cutting the dumplings into the broth gave a
greater flavor.This is the first time
that I notice a small red carnation on the serving plate.We will realized that the chef likes to use
artistry in “painting the plates.”
Kumamoto oysters are great on its own. Top it with a
mango salsa and the slurp will have you chewing in order to obtain the whole
savory-ness.Each oyster arrives on a
soup spoon with slices of cucumber and lemon on the side and….an edible
A Spicy Salmon Tartar rested atop slices of fresh
avocado sitting in a tartar dressing.It
was decorated with both red and black fish roe, and microgreens.The spicy mayo dotted the plate along with a
Soft shell crabs are a favorite of mine as I don’t
have to pick out the meat.Served atop
slices of mango, this non-oily crunchy (but not thickly floured) delight had
added sliced avocado and the chef’s spicy sauce.The combination sparks “umami”.Not sure what kind of flower was on
top…looked sort of like a yellow carnation and not edible.
Here is another favorite. Seaweed Salad.The marinated seaweed with sesame seeds are
frozen when any restaurant purchases it.What the restaurant adds can make a difference.In this case, it rested on a thick slab of
mango.Do you get that mangos and
avocados are popular?Some little purple
edible flowers decorated the top.
Order the Frenasia Specialty Slider and you’ll not
just get some heavenly tasting short ribs in a steamed bun.The decorations (complete with flowers…of
course) are worth a photo.Does it take
away from the flavor?Not at all.Very tender, slightly on the sweet side but
enhanced with a spicy sauce.
Time for a few maki rolls.Duck roll with ginger, a spicy mayo atop.
Peking duck.Tasted both a bit peppery
and sweet.I don’t have to tell you what
the plate was decorated with.
Dancing Shrimp Roll sounded good. Shrimp tempura and
lobster wrapped with mango, avocado served with a sauce to dance to: reduced
balsamic vinegar and orange curry.Gave
it that little bit of cumin flavor.Slices of cucumber and….decorated that dish.
Chilean Seabass Roll…different.It was a combo of both the seabass and
eel.Eel sauce inside and a few sauces
on the plate.Okay, were starting to get
full.The thing is, there really wasn’t
much that we ate that was so terribly filling.No, we just wanted to pig out on good food.
One more dish….before dessert.Grand Marnier Coconut Shrimp.OMG.Just enough spice and served with broccoli, asparagus, green beans and a
sweet potato puree.
As for the dessert…I will try to describe it.Mango tart topping a chocolate cake.Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, berries,
mint and pieces of chocolate.
Last temptation was a dessert plum wine called
Aragoshi Kumi’s Umeshu.Great after
dinner drink.I usually get drunk on
Scotch Tape.Sake doesn’t bother me as
much.Sake to me!Kampai!!!
I was tuning into a show called Full Frontal and
glimpsed what I thought was an exaggeration like SNL until I “googled” the
subject of John Kasich going to a Matzah Bakery in Brooklyn meeting up with a
group of Hasidic Jews and having no clue about who they are.
Cameras were rolling as he first says “It’s a
wonderful, wonderful holiday for our friends in the Jewish community – the
Passover”.“The great link between the
blood that was put upon the lamppost” and then saying that it was the blood of
Jesus Christ.How many years was it
between Moses yelling, “Let my people go” and the birth of JC?As he is talking, he is shaking the box of
matzahs that he just received.
You have to see the arrogant expression on his face
and they now bring him to a bookstore as he lectures Yeshiva students about
Joseph.“You know who I like?” Kasich said.
“Joseph. You guys like Joseph? You study
Joseph? What do you think about Joseph? Did you hear the most important thing
Joseph said to his brothers?” He continues saying “Joseph was sold into slavery
and that is how the Jews got to Egypt” and asks, “Did you know this.”They are all being nice and with a totally
dumbfounded look as Kasich thinks he knows more than a Hasidic about the Jews.
Talking with the Yeshiva scholars he says, “What do
you guys do?” “Study”, they say.“What
are you studying?”“The Talmud”, they
reply. “Ok, but what are you learning right now?”There is this long pause due to probably
wanting to say, “That you are much too ignorant to run a country.G-d forbid you have to visit Israel”. However, the Governor, then asks what the
lesson is. “Hilchos Shabbos, the laws of the Sabbath”.Kasich doesn’t know how to reply to this most
likely expecting to hear a parable.
He insists that God made a covenant with Abraham and
not Moses.Forget about reading the Old
Testament.Is he living under a rock and
not seen the movie, The Ten Commandments?
“Joshua was another great leader”, says Kasich. “Do
you know about Joshua?”He actually said
about one of the men, “I’m going to have to teach him”.
I am watching these clips online and FOFLOL.Just when I thought that Kasich completed
his idiocy, I watch the group walking him to his car.He turns to the crowd and says, “Pray for me.
Would you? You all pray?”I’ve been up
nights with this last thing going through my mind and wanting to yell out. “They
are Hasidic Jews, you schmuck.They pray
at least 8 hours a day!!!!
Eric Ulrich is my councilman.He talks a good talk and like most
politicians do what makes them look good out there.Nothing that I have ever requested comes back
in any satisfaction or just doesn’t come back.Ignore me and I’ll go away?I am
a “Senior Citizen” as well as being somewhat disabled.For whatever reason the Board of Elections
moved my polling place to where it is not walkable for me.If I were to take public transportation, I
would still have a bit of a walk.Taking Access-A-Ride costs me the price as if I did take round trip
I called on my Councilman for a ride, hearing that
one can do this.Two elections ago, I
reached out to Erich Ulrich’s office and even spent time speaking with him
personally.His cohort took down my
information although it was not close to the date.I did expect a phone call, etc.Nothing.Was unable to vote.I was told
that it was my fault and that I should have called the day before.
Next time I did call days before and talked about
what happened the last time.Everything
seemed fine and I waited for a phone call.Again nothing and was told that I should have called them.Why are they taking down my information if
they don’t have plans to keep the agreement?This time I spoke with Eric about it.He apologized profusely and said, “Next time I’ll make sure that you go
even if I have to drive you there myself.”
Again, I called a few week back with what Eric said
and told that it was too early to call.I called AGAIN this past Thursday with what Eric said.Some guy took my information saying that
they were coordinating the rides.I
told him that I wanted Eric to take me as agreed.He said that he would make sure that I got a
ride.I said, “Don’t wait until Tuesday
to call me”.He said, “Of course not”.
It is past 10pm on Monday and there was no phone
call.Luckily I booked Access-A-Ride as
I do not want to miss this.Yes, they
know that I work for local newspapers but somehow it doesn’t matter.It will.My plan is to call Eric’s office on Wednesday and keep calling until I
speak directly with him.I will ask him
for a statement to be published.Apology
not accepted!He comes up for reelection
next year.I bet he’ll go out of his way
to make sure I get to the polls!
Many of the Queens restaurants are getting ready to
show off their cuisines as Taste of Queens is approaching.This year, the food fest will take place at
the Hall of Science at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.Chemistry of the senses will play a part as
once again, the judges will choose whose appetizer, entrée or dessert will be
the winners.De Mole, located in
Woodside, is one of the participants.I
was curious about some of the non-Tex-Mex.
Ramiro Mendez is the owner who having been a chef
for many years decided to be an entrepreneur featuring some of the healthier
side of Mexican cuisine.No lard and
low on salt.Surprisingly, he would
rather give you a sauce to spice up your food than assume you want it
The restaurant appears to be small with about a
dozen tables.Ramiro pointed to the
adjoining room which is used either for private parties or simply when the
eatery gets crowded.
“Freshly made” is what probably has the crowds
coming in.I popped in on a weekday at
about 3pm and thought I would be the only customer.At first there was one other table as I
watched a mother feed guacamole to her infant son.That already signaled that it would not be
spicy (I don’t care for spicy food).The
guacamole comes with corn chips resting in a small paper bag (absorbs the
oil).I was given a small portion of a
tomato sauce with jalapeno pepper.It
wasn’t too bad combining the two but “biting” just dipping into.My
waitress, Guillermina, was totally able to describe everything I ate.
Quite interesting drinks as they are also freshly
made.Lemonade, limeade, water with
hibiscus and one with tamarind…all sweet and refreshing.Wine and beer available but nix on having a
margarita or such.
Ceviche de Varecruz, as close as I can get to sushi.Maki Maki poached in fresh lime juice with
chopped onions, tomato, jalapeno, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and olive
oil.Yes, it had a kick but anyone who
is used to “hot” food will not even notice. I loved the crunchy "cup" that it was served in.
Just for the heck of it, I tried a few "Tex-Mex" like a chicken
taco.There are two sauces.A spicy red sauce and a green sauce.I went for the green but…otherwise it was
I also went for a tamale in a corn husk - Verdes Con Pollo. Okay, I like their Tex-Mex as well.
Tortas are hard roll sandwiches.Pierna is braised pork leg.The sandwich is served with red refried
beans, avocado, onion, cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce and a homemade pickled
jalapeno.Actually it was all in the
When it comes to grilled skirt steak, they have
perfected it.It had a slight smoky
flavor and required little pressure on the jaw.The platter comes with rice, beans and 2 corn tortillas, coasted with
mole poblano (mole sauce) and queso blanco (white cheese).Opt for the Enchiladas de Pollo Con Mole
Poblano (Chicken enchilada) that is rolled in a corn tortilla or one that has
“beef brisket stew”.
Hole Mole, I had to check out the desserts!Orange flan: not overly sweet caramel sauce
and a excellent creamy consistency.I did
try the Tres Leches cake.Kind of a
sponge cake with condensed and evaporated milk with bananas and real whipped
cream atop (the third leche).Enjoyed
the flan, more.
I’m not sure what Ramiro will present at the Taste
of Queens. I’m certain it will be “tasty”.